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Senior External Relations Officer


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Kabul
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
  • Closing Date:

Hardship Level

E (most hardship)

Family Type

Non Family

Family Type

Non FamilyDanger Pay

Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

December 15, 2022

Standard Job Description

Senior External Relations Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The Senior External Relations Officer normally reports to the Representative or Deputy Representative. The incumbent has direct supervisory responsibility for External Relations staff. External contacts are predominantly with partners, media, government, embassies and other international organizations in the country on matters of importance to the organization. All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity. Duties - Stay abreast of the challenges posed by the political context, the UN and humanitarian reform, and institutional developments in the area of forced displacement and humanitarian operations. - Through a consultative process with UNHCR colleagues (Programme, Protection, etc.) with external actors and partners, develop and implement protection and assistance strategy, with clearly articulated objectives, timelines and outputs. - Implement a communications strategy that generates support for UNHCR¿s operations from external partners (e.g. the general public, governments, partners, the media, academia and persons of concern). - Articulate all issues pertaining to the needs of the populations of concern and the strategies in place to respond to their needs. - Ensure that the UNHCR priorities are given adequate weight in the documentation of the UN Country Team. - Maintain a close dialogue with and provide accurate information to donors by organizing regular briefings, bilateral meetings and donor missions. Prepare reports as appropriate. - In accordance with the operational context and in close cooperation with headquarters, access new and non-traditional funding sources, as appropriate, including private sector and humanitarian pooled/basket funds (e.g. Central Emergency Response Fund, Human Security Fund). - Through a consultative process with headquarters, disseminate information on UNHCR¿s global funding situation and mobilize additional funds to implement special projects aimed at enhancing the quality of protection for persons of concern in the country operation. - Participate in inter-agency cooperation and communication strategies, initiatives and tools. - Support senior management in representing UNHCR in the UN Country Team and other UN coordination fora. - Support, and participate in, local UN integrated missions, Inter-Agency Standing Committee, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Cluster communication strategies and initiatives. - Manage the information flow within the country operations by identifying priority matters, securing, analyzing and disseminating documentation and information to support country operations and corporate communication processes and priorities. - Consolidate information on UNHCR¿s country operations and identify appropriate messages for campaigns and appeals. - Coordinate the drafting of, and/or draft, situation reports, briefing notes, background material, talking points, fact sheets, press releases and articles. - Develop targeted communications strategies and media packages for situations and/or activities that require focused attention. - Identify and target major events and initiatives (e.g. commercial, cultural, political and sports) to promote the work of UNHCR. - Manage media relations by, inter alia, responding to direct queries, publishing press releases and organizing regular briefings and visits to country operations. - Approve fund-raising messages. - Approve any relevant expenditure for the implementation of fund-raising activities. - Decide which donors to approach and which operations or activities to prioritize for special fundraising appeals. - Approve the communications strategy. - Approve budgets and expenditures for communications activities. - Clear external relations/communication products and tools. - Represent UNHCR fund-raising and communication priorities in inter-agency initiatives and fora. - Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Education & Professional Work Experience Years of Experience / Degree Level For P4/NOD - 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education Political Sciences; Social Sciences; International Relations; Journalism; or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Not specified Relevant Job Experience Essential Experience in humanitarian operations in a field environment. Excellent knowledge of local institution, politics and culture. Desirable Good knowledge of UNHCR operations both at Headquarters and in the Field. Fund-raising and programming/programme management experience. Experience of working with social media. Functional Skills IT-Web Content Management IT-Computer Literacy ER-Inter-Agency External Relations ER-Inter-Agency Leadership/Coordination CO-Drafting and Documentation (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Desired Candidate Profile

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):


Desired languages




Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:

Nature of Position:

Senior External Relations Officer (SERO) reports directly to Representative. S/he has direct supervision of 1 External Relations Officer, 2 Associate Reporting Officers and 1 Senior Reporting Associate.

The overarching objective of SERO is to maintain adequate financial resources for the operation and provide accurate information to external audience on the protection response and durable solutions. SERO is accountable for implementing strategies of the operation related to resource mobilisation, communications, and visibility.

Requires ability to work collaboratively with external partners to maintain and foster relationships and partnerships with donor community, UN agencies, embassies, and other relevant entities.

Shows strong analytical skills to support the development of strategies and priorities in line with objectives of the country office.

Demonstrates advisory role in relation on possible funding opportunities, in-kind donations, partnerships, and initiatives on national, regional and global level applicable to UNHCR. Has experience in collaborating with the UNCT, HCT and Clusters on the needs and gaps as well as advocacy messaging of Clusters led by UNHCR in line with the HRP and RRP.

Ability to build consensus and maintain team spirit in preparing project documentation in cooperation with relevant units.

Experience in facilitating donor missions and meeting,and focuses on advancing engagement in PARR in line with the SSAR in Afghanistan as well as ensuring adequate resources to support emergency response to provide life-saving assistance and mitigate human suffering as well as to enhance existing community services.Has strong knowledge of pooled funds (AHF, CERF), humanitarian (ECHO), development donors (INTPA, SFD, WB, QFFD, KOICA), private donors and traditional donors (US, Japan, Germany, EU) in Afghanistan.

Strong communications skills in ensuring consistency and accuracy of information in external updates, SERO contributes in identification and preparation of featuring human-interest stories, preparing PR, updating the content on various on-line platforms (Data Portal, Global Focus).Has strong analytical skills to keep informed the management and RBAP of the latest development on UNHCR 's response as well as on political and socio-economic development in the country as well as on the funding level, gaps and needs, TP and BN. Knowledge of tools including Refugees Media, GMS, UNHCR 's branding, MSRP, GFI, COMPASS is essential.

Living and Working Conditions:

Afghanistan is a high-risk country with a very complex operational environment, characterized by uncertainty and frequent security incidents. Movement by all personnel is restricted, coordinated and monitored by the security officers. UNHCR in Kabul is located within the ICON Compound on the Supreme road of the Police district 9. It occupies 40 MOSS compliant rooms for staff accommodation with each room having its own washroom and other facilities. Offices are within the ICON compound. No visits except in UN compounds and Embassies which is frustrating, stressful to cope. UNHCR and UN agencies jointly run JMS Level 1 medical clinic and satellite located in ICON. S/M on special prescription should travel with sufficient quantity. Medical facilities in Kabul include German Clinic, French Medical Institute for Mothers & Children (FMIC), Blossom Health Center and Iqarus International (AMC). COVID-19 MTF was established in ICON. Outdoor air quality is a health concern in Kabul. The degree of exposure and concentration of air pollutants can be detrimental to breathing problems, development of chronic diseases and deterioration of health status in individuals with chronic diseases. Air pollution contributes to comorbidities that are known to worsen outcomes among those infected with COVID-19. air pollution can impair lung development in infants and children; increase probability of preterm birth and delivery of new-borns with low birth weight. office provides air purifiers both in the office and accommodation. Health problems contributing to years lost to illness, disability, or premature death in the country include diet, tobacco use, high fasting glucose and high blood pressure; as well as environmental risks such as pollution and water-borne disease. Road crash, conflict, terror are major causes of injuries. security situation is unstable, volatile, unpredictable with rise 2020-2022. A daily radio check is mandatory. All movements is strictly by Armoured Vehicle or by air and no road. A 4-week R&R cycle, staff are highly encouraged not to delay. Considering the serious restrictions on staff movement, it is crucial to demonstrate a record of maintaining a positive attitude whenever confronted with adversity and restraints in social life. Staff interested in the position should be mentally, psychologically, and physically fit and ready to face situations when required to be locked down in compound bunkers for an extended period due to security incidents.

Additional Qualifications


CB-External stakeholder engagement and coordination for CBI, ER-Inter-Agency External Relations


BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Journalism (Required), BA: Political Science (Required), BA: Social Science (Required)


Work Experience

Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Asylum Seekers, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Others of Concern, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned IDPs, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Stateless


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022

Functional clearance

This position doesn't require a functional clearance
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